Daytona Beach is a city in Volusia County, Florida, USA. According to 2006 U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the city has a population of 64,421. Daytona Beach is a principal city of the Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area, which the census bureau estimated had a 2006 population of 496,575.
The city is historically known as having one of the few beaches in the world where the hard packed sand allows family cars to drive on the beach. This hard packed sand made Daytona a mecca for motorsports, with the old Daytona Beach Road Course having hosted races for over 50 years. This course was replace in 1959 by Daytona International Speedway. The city is also the headquarters for NASCAR and the Grand American Road Racing Association.
Daytona Beach is a year-round resort area, but could also accurately be called a seasonal town, with large groups of out-of-towners descending upon the city for various events, most notably Speedweeks in early February when over 200,000 NASCAR fans come to attend the season-opening Daytona 500. Other events include the NASCAR Pepsi 400 race in July (now Coke Zero 400), Bike Week in March, Biketoberfest in October and Black College Reunion in March and April. In the past Daytona Beach catered to spring breakers, but in recent years many of the breakers have migrated to other sites, like Panama City Beach. Daytona Beach in the last few years spring breakers have come back again in smaller numbers.
The city was founded in 1870 and incorporated in 1876. It was named for its founder, Matthias D. Day. In 1886, the St. Johns & Halifax River Railway arrived in Daytona. The line would be purchased in 1889 by Henry Flagler, who made it part of his Florida East Coast Railway. The separate towns of Daytona, Daytona Beach and Seabreeze merged as "Daytona Beach" in 1926, at the urging of civic leader J.B. Kahn and others. By the 1920s, it was dubbed "The World's Most Famous Beach".
Daytona's wide beach of smooth, compacted sand attracted automobile and motorcycle races beginning in 1902, as pioneers in the industry tested their inventions. On March 8, 1936, the first stock car race was held on the Daytona Beach Road Course. In 1959, William France created Daytona International Speedway to replace the beach course. Automobiles are still permitted on the beach, although now only at slow speeds.
The city and its beaches, lined with hotels, motels, condominiums and houses, attract over 8,000,000 tourists each year. In a wide variety of price ranges, hotel and motel rooms are typically plentiful except during special events. Daytona Beach has high security around its main hotel locations, with multiple cameras filming hotel and beach areas. It is one of the few places in the world where a family car can be driven on an ocean beach. Most other driving beaches require 4 wheel drive or other special equipment.
During motorcycle events (Bike Week and Biketoberfest), several hundred thousand bikers from all over the world visit the greater Daytona Beach area. While the city is often associated with spring break, the efforts of the local government to discourage rowdiness, combined with the rise of other spring break destinations, have nearly ended Daytona's former preeminence as a spring break destination.
Special events that draw visitors to Daytona Beach include:
The city of Daytona Beach is split in two by the Halifax River lagoon, part of the Intracoastal Waterway, and sits on the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered on the north by Holly Hill and Ormond Beach and on the south by Daytona Beach Shores, South Daytona and Port Orange. The major highways that serve the city are the east-west Interstate 4 and the north-south Interstate 95, which intersect near the city. Other major roads in the city include US 92/International Speedway Boulevard, U.S. 1/Ridgewood Avenue and A1A/Atlantic Avenue.
Daytona Beach has a humid subtropical climate, typical of the southeastern United States. Summers are hot and humid with highs usually in the 90s and a heat index often exceeding 100 degrees. Thunderstorms are frequent in summer afternoons and the hot, humid weather can last right through the fall months. Winters are dry and mild, marked by a constant series of cold fronts and warm-ups. Temperatures dip into the low 30s and upper 20s on occasion, and freezes are not uncommon. Frost occurs a few times a year mainly in the inland areas, but is rare along the beaches. Snowfall is very rare. Temperatures in spring are famously pleasant with warm afternoons, cool evenings, and far less humidity. This beach-going weather attracts tourists back to the beaches usually by early March.
|Monthly Normal and Record High and Low Temperatures|
|Rec High °F||87||89||92||96||100||102||102||100||99||95||89||88|
|Norm High °F||69.7||71.1||75.6||79.8||85||88.8||91||90.1||87.9||82.6||76.9||71.4|
|Norm Low °F||47.1||48.8||53.7||58||64.5||70.6||72.4||72.8||71.9||65.3||57||50.1|
|Rec Low °F||15||24||26||35||44||52||60||65||52||41||27||19|
Because of Daytona Beach's close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, the city has a significant chance of receiving hurricanes and tropical storms every hurricane season. However, prior to 2004, major hurricanes are only recorded as skirting by the coast of Daytona Beach without any direct hits.
The 2004 Hurricane season was particularly tumultuous in the Daytona Beach area. Hurricane Charley was a very fast-moving, compact storm, which made landfall near Port Charlotte, Florida, on August 13, swept across the state and hit Daytona Beach from the inland before reentering the Atlantic Ocean. Hurricane Frances was a very large storm in size, which moved made landfall at Hutchinson Island South, Florida (near Port St. Lucie, Florida) in the early hours of September 5, and caused a significant amount of collateral damage. Portions of Daytona Beach were without electricity or phone service for ten days following Frances due to downed lines or shorted transformers. Just three weeks later, Hurricane Jeanne formed in the Atlantic Ocean and made landfall only six miles from the same spot Frances hit, at Hutchinson Island South, Florida, on September 26. Following the 2004 hurricane season, the names Charlie, Frances, and Jeanne were all retired from use.
The City Commission establishes ordinances and policies for the city. It also reviews and approves the city budget annually. The Commission appoints a City Manager, who carries out the will of the Commission and handles day-to-day business.
There were 28,605 households out of which 18.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 30.1% were married couples living together, 14.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 51.6% were non-families. 39.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.06 and the average family size was 2.77.
In the city the population was spread out with 17.6% under the age of 18, 16.6% from 18 to 24, 25.6% from 25 to 44, 20.5% from 45 to 64, and 19.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 99.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $25,439, and the median income for a family was $33,514. Males had a median income of $25,705 versus $20,261 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,530. 23.6% of the population and 16.9% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 34.9% of those under the age of 18 and 12.1% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.
Daytona Beach is located roughly at the southern end of the cultural South, so its culture has remained somewhat Southern. The architecture and style of its older homes and buildings and the culture and speech of its older, locally-born inhabitants leaves no doubt as to its cultural Southern roots.
The Museum of Arts and Sciences is the primary cultural facility for Daytona Beach and Volusia County. Other museums located in the city include the Southeast Museum of Photography and the Halifax Historical Museum. The Museum of Arts and Sciences is actually a collection of museums and galleries and includes the Klancke Environmental Complex, the Cuban Museum, Root Family Museum featuring one of the largest Coca-Cola(R) collections in the world, the Dow American Gallery and the Bouchelle Center for Decorative Arts which together form what is probably one of the finest collections of furniture and decorative arts in the Southeast. There are also changing exhibitions and a new children's science center planned to open in 2008.
|Daytona Cubs||FSL, Baseball||Jackie Robinson Ballpark||1993||2|
|Daytona Beach ThunderBirds||af2, Arena football||Ocean Center||2006||0|
In addition to motorsports, Daytona is also the home of the Daytona Cubs, a minor league baseball team of the Florida State League and the Daytona Beach ThunderBirds, an arena football team of the af2.
The area's economy includes other industries besides tourism, such as manufacturing. Daytona Beach provides a dynamic business environment with opportunities for the development and growth of smaller, home grown businesses and large corporate enterprises. It's a community with a talented and diverse workforce. Daytona Beach has industrial sites within an enterprise zone and sites within a foreign trade zone adjacent to Daytona Beach International Airport. A medical office park provides additional sites. Prime Interstate 4 and Interstate 95 sites are available with excellent access to road, air, rail and water transportation.
Companies and organizations that have their corporate headquarters or a major presence in the area:
Daytona Beach is easily accessible by I-95 that runs North and South and I-4 connecting Daytona Beach with Orlando and Tampa. U.S. 1 (Ridgewood Avenue) also passes through Daytona Beach. A1A is a scenic North/South route along the beach.
The Volusia County Parking Garage is located at 701 Earl Street at North Atlantic Avenue (A1A). The garage is strategically located, next to the Ocean Center, Daytona Lagoon, and across the street from the Hilton Hotel and Ocean Walk Shoppes. Over one thousand parking spaces are available inside the garage. Pricing varies at different times of the year.
There is also a VOTRAN transfer station (Intermodal Transit Facility - ITF) located inside the garage area.